Makeup Classes at CMS: Advance Beauty Theory

Our Advanced Beauty Theory Class is one of our makeup classes taught by Wendy Anne Rosen, a beauty and high fashion makeup artist with over 30 years of experience. In ABT we give our students the opportunity to learn editorial industry ready makeup skill sets. Part business skills and part hands-on learning, the program is geared towards students who are ready to build on their skills and start a professional makeup career. While talent is very important In the makeup industry, networking and self-promotion are both essential to create a thriving career. What Advanced Beauty Theory offers an intensive curriculum educating students on makeup approaches including runway, Avant garde, drag, and editorial looks.


The first day of class the students hit the ground learning about running a business in the makeup industry. Not only do we teach them about how to establish their social media presence, we also lay out how to appropriately market and manage their career. Makeup is not an insular experience, but part of a larger community. Learning about directors, models, agencies, and hairstylists is a must for landing new projects and making connections.  It is important that our students know how a film crew operates or fashion shoots are organized and who to contact when on set. At CMS, we encourage our students to learn about their craft and the industries involving it.


In addition to learning makeup for live events, an essential for makeup artists to learn is how their makeup will look on camera. Our students learn how to produce looks translate well on digital cameras, including a more fine art approach with black and white photography. The backbone for understanding how to do that lies with training our students to understand how light works in an artistic sense. Our students learn about color theory, tone, and value for these exercises. We deeply encourage our students to be familiar with art forms outside of makeup to draw inspiration from. 

In ABT, we also have an intensive week-long curriculum dedicated to teaching students professional airbrush techniques. Learning how to body-paint becomes a great resource for our students who want to take their looks to the next level. Teacher & airbrush pro Nelly Recchia has worked with celebrities from Lady Gaga to Katy Perry. The airbrushing classes cover intricate airbrush designs works and how to emulate tattoos!  At the end of this week they take their knowledge complete a transformation photo shoot. Armed with their new airbrushing skills, students transform their subjects from innocent girl next-door to grungy punk rockers.

There is also a Drag Demo Day, where our students learn about how to exaggerate and alter face shape with makeup. Contouring, covering up facial hair and embracing wild palettes takes finesse and balance, so we invited Drag-pro, Jason Adcock to do the demo. Students learn about Drag culture as well as drag slang and create Drag-identities on themselves or their model.  


At the completion of their training, the class will decide upon a theme that will be the inspiration behind their look. The theme is selected to give them a grounding while making their wildest ideas come to life. For the final exam, their skill sets don’t just stop at makeup as students focus on the entire look and atmosphere of their latest creation. They build sets, craft and source costumes, and find models to become their work of art. 

Water was the latest theme to come to life in the classroom. Students had a variety of approaches to bring their creations to life including body painting, airbrushing, and beauty makeup. For the final exam, Cinema Makeup School hires professional photographers so students get editorial-ready images of their work to add to their portfolio. For this shoot, photographer, Kevin Sheffield set up a projection of water for the background and put a piece of Plexiglas in front of the model in order to have a rain-covered window effect. 

Behind the scenes in our ABT shoot.   

In keeping with the branding of graduate-run online magazine, Uncover, our students photos focused on images of faces emerging out of the water. Working with water and projection meant that our students had to make sure their looks were perfect in order to get the desired high-fashion aesthetic.  

After completing our ABT course, students are ready to pursue a career as professional makeup artists in the industry. Some students have even competed at IMATS’s famous Battle of the Brushes competition. Below is a picture of alumni Devan Weitzman after winning the Battle of the Brushes with CMS Director of Education, Ve Neill

Devan Weitzman after winning the Battle of the Brushes with CMS Director of Education, Ve Neill.

Want to learn more about our Advanced Beauty Theory class? Schedule a visit (in person or online) here